Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

MW Top 5 List: Skincare Products You’ve Probably Not Bought Yet

You’ve probably heard about them, read about them … and wondered if you should buy them. Well, as September makes its exit, we know the wet, cold and humid weather of the monsoon months would soon be upon us. Time to add a little more help to your skincare regime! We’re sure you don’t want to greet 2015 looking less than fabulous.

This month, we introduced you the game-changing prowess of Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher, explained the efficacy of Hada Labo Lotion‘s 4 interlocking hyaluronic acid, and demonstrated the anti-ageing effects Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream. Besides these, the Material World team have also tried some incredible beauty products that we simply have to share with you. So, if you’re still in two minds whether to snap up a particular skincare product, the 5 below certainly have our stamps of approval.

 

MW TOP 5 LIST:
Skincare Products You’ve Probably Not Bought Yet 

#5 Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion SPF 20 PA+++
Coming in at No. 5, we have the heavenly scented Fresh Black Tea moisturizer-sunscreen. The packaging scores points by surprising us with a little twist, literally! Twist its cap and the dispenser pump rises from the center. Clean, no-mess, so fun to use.

WE LOVE: The comforting cream disappears into nothing on your skin, great for those who think sunscreens make their skins even oilier! Combination of black tea ferment, lychee seed extract and blackberry leaf extract provides an anti-ageing boost by sweeping away free radicals and improving skin elasticity.

 

#4 Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence [Light] 
A 6-in-1 skin lotion, this watery product promises to be a multi-functioning skin elixir for those with oily and combination complexions. This essence contains 94 percent fermented soybean extract obtained through 300 days of natural fermentation in a volcanic claypot atop Mount Halla in Jeju Island.

WE LOVE: That it’s free of parabens, animal ingredients, minerals, colorants and artificial fragrance. The essence feels incredibly refreshing on the skin. What blew us away was the video the brand shared at its launch. To show how it strengthens the barrier function, the researchers soaked an eye yolk in the essence for 24 hours. After a day, they picked up the egg yolk and dropped it onto a plate. The yolk did not break up, proving this essence is indeed capable of strengthening your skin.

 

#3 Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate 
As explained before, hydration is extremely important when it comes to maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin. This potent hydrating serum from Kiehl’s penetrates 10 layers of skin and awakens channels of moisture transportation that have grown weak due to age. Using a combination of plant-based glycerin and shiso leaf extract, this serum anchors water in skin to turn dry, papery-thin, ageing skin into youthful, plump skin again!

WE LOVE: That it gets absorbed by the skin so easily. Founder Debs, who is obsessed with keeping that youthful bounce in her skin, can testify to the effectiveness of this serum. Her testimonial can even be found in the September issue of Kiehl’s Times!

 

#2 Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate 
There’s been a lot of talk about strengthening the skin from within as a way of truly protecting it from the ravages of Time. This September, Shiseido launches a concentrate that enhances skin’s inherent defences against stress and environmental pollution. The concentrate gives skin’s immunity a boost by activating the Langerhans cells, which may have been compromised by age and stress. Backed by some 20 years’ of research, this ground-breaking product also boosts the efficacy of your other skincare products.

WE LOVE: That it made our skins softer and smoother to the touch within just one day of use. And, unlike most anti-ageing products that focus on erasing wrinkles or improving lift, Ultimune talks about strong skin being good skin. This is definitely a refreshing way to look at preserving your beauty through the years.

 

#1 Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum In Oil 
Ringing in at No. 1 is Biotherm’s newest Blue Therapy Serum In Oil. A micro-algae oil rich in omega-3 fatty acid is fused with a serum for a non-greasy, non-sticky anti-ageing night treatment. The Blue Therapy range is most definitely one of the brand’s more successful lines and the night serum is truly an innovative product for those who have come to believe in the efficacy of Blue Therapy.

WE LOVE: How easily absorbed this serum in oil is. It’s not even a “if you sleep in air-conditioned room” product. This serum in oil works beautifully in air-conditioned and non air-conditioned rooms. It gets first on our list this month because one night was all it took to see a significant improvement in the texture and glow of our skins. Bumps on foreheads disappeared after just one night. Definitely a gem to have if you feel your skin is in need of a good dose of ultra pampering.

 

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what are your thoughts about them? Share them with us in the Comments section below – we would most definitely love to hear from you, fellow beauty junkies! 

 

Material World was given the aforementioned products to review. All opinions are our own. These reviews were not advised nor paid for by any of the brands above.

Standard
Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] This Crazy Lil’ Thing Called Love – Elisa Woodward

One moment you are going, “I wish I were still single!”, the next you are going, “I love my kids to death!”. Don’t worry. You are not crazy. As Material Mom Elisa Woodward explains, these conflicting feelings are totally natural. 

elisa1Kids – one minute they are driving you up the wall with their antics, the next, they fill your heart with such intense love. Only a mother can understand that it is perfectly normal to oscillate from one to the next in the same hour.

Hands up if you have friends who openly lament the loss of freedom and personal time, and yet still continue to post up pictures of their kids coupled with public declarations of their love and adoration. Or, what about the colleague who complains how little she’s slept the previous night and proceeds to light up with joy when her kid calls her at lunch? We grumble about the mess our kids create, the toys that never get put away, and yet, the sight of them asleep in their beds makes our heart melt and all resolve to discipline them just vanish into thin air. All you want to do is hug and kiss them.

I think the love a parent has towards his/her child is indeed one of the truest loves of all, and it’s a love even my staunchest non-kids friends cannot deny.

A friend – who has made it more than clear that she doesn’t ever want kids – recently admitted that a child does give you a sense of purpose. “The child creates a purpose in life that goes beyond your career, marriage, and lifestyle. This is someone you are prepared to love unconditionally, someone you are prepared to take care of and nurture throughout his/her entire life. Even after you are gone from this world, you want to make sure they are well taken care of.”

I have no regrets about about having my kids at a young age. They bring to my life joy and completeness – although some days I need to be reminded. No matter how old they are, no matter if they are in university or are married with their own kids, your children will always be children to you.

As parents, we have such huge responsibilities because we bring children into this world not by their choice but our own. How we bring them up, how we teach them about life … everything depends on us. The years between 7 and 12 are particularly important because these years are when they formulate their thoughts and impression on love and human nature. Someone once told me that the only thing he remembers of his childhood was how it was particularly dark and unhappy, and that has somewhat coloured his views of the world and how he sees people. This is why it is crucial to make sure your kids end their day and go to bed knowing they are loved and protected.

Even when I’m miles away from my children, the thought of them brings a smile to my face. Just the thought that I have people to live for and that they are also dependent on me gives my life purpose.

And love is simply just this amazing.

elisa2

About The Author: Elisa Woodward, a career-focused wife and a mom of two active boys, is a Jack of all trades, who enjoys flummoxing people. She likes getting her hands dirty (figuratively and literally), yet enjoys dressing up just enough to “look acceptable”. She embraces wholeheartedly the concept of getting older.

 

 

Standard
Body News, Health & Fitness, Wellbeing

How To Nurture A Positive Body Image

Avoiding negative thoughts about the way you look may not always be easy, but learning to love yourself—inside and out—is a beautiful thing. This article by Canyon Ranch will help you take that all-important first step.

beautiful

Cultivating a positive body image can be challenging. We are often our own worst critics. When you look in the mirror, you may zero in on one area of your body that you wish was smaller, smoother or just plain different. But chances are you’re the only one being so hard on yourself. The people who love you aren’t looking at your thighs or your crow’s feet—they only see the person who always makes them laugh, the one who cooks magnificent meals and lights up the room with a smile.

Recognizing and celebrating the inner beauty that others see shining through rather than focusing on “fixing” your perceived flaws is an important step toward cultivating a positive body image. Removing the phrase, If only I looked like… from your vocabulary is another. “We all spend huge amounts of time comparing ourselves to others,” says Ann Pardo, M.A., L.P.C., B.C.C., director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. But in the end, these comparisons often do little more than lead us further down a path of negative thinking, of striving for some unachievable body ideal. So, the next time you notice yourself engaging in self-criticism, consider using these suggestions to shift gears and change course.

1. Focus on You
With the daily barrage of “perfect” bodies we see in magazines and on television, comparisons are all but inevitable. But research shows doing just that can lead to a negative body image. Whenever you catch yourself playing the comparison game, consciously decide to stop. Let your logical brain take over: Remember that no one is perfect—the images you see in magazines have likely been airbrushed and retouched. And don’t forget that everyone is unique; try not to use others as a reference point for who you should or can be.

Try this: Stay away from the mirror if you're not feeling so good about yourself today.

Try this: Stay away from the mirror if you’re not feeling so good about yourself today.

2. Step Away from the Mirror
Constantly checking (and obsessing about) your appearance and perceived physical flaws also reinforces a negative body image. If you find yourself often sneaking a peek at your reflection, consider setting limits. Allow yourself to look in the mirror as you get ready to go out, but only once or twice. If you give yourself fewer opportunities to critique your appearance, you may find that you think less about your looks and spend more time thinking about other things.

3. Look at the Positive!
Self-esteem improves when you begin looking at yourself as the sum of all your parts, not just your looks. This “whole person” approach means not focusing on what you lack, but on everything you have to offer and that you do right. Every few days, jot down a different set of five positive attributes: personal strengths, abilities, achievements, things you admire about yourself and like about your looks, things you did or do well, and so on.

4. Exercise, Eat Well and Pursue Your Passions
Taking care of your health and allowing opportunities for personal fulfillment sends the message—both to others and to yourself—that you are worthy and valued, which helps increase self-esteem. Be sure, however, to think of workouts and your diet as a way to stay healthy, not a means to the perfect body. “Our culture is extremely misinformed about weight and body image,” Pardo says. “Very few people understand that mental and physical fitness are what really matter.”

5. Tweak Your Self-Talk
Listen carefully to what you tell yourself. My skin is horrible. I am uglyHow did I get so fat? Some people are so used to putting themselves down they don’t even realize they do it. But it’s never too late to change the dialogue. Try this: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a close friend. Also remember that feelings aren’t facts; just because you may feel unattractive one day doesn’t mean you are. This isn’t easy, especially if you’ve been engaging in negative behaviors for years, but once you learn to recognize the negative self-talk, the next step is to alter it. Make an effort to put a positive spin on whatever you otherwise would have criticized.

6. Dwell on Solutions, not Slip-ups
Focusing too much on mistakes can deal your self-esteem a major blow, Pardo says. If you fall off the diet wagon, for example, don’t label yourself a failure and give up. Instead, consider that the diet you chose may not have been right for you. Explore what went wrong, but in the context of how you can change or do better next time. A mistake or failure is an isolated incident, not indicative of who you are.

Bottom line: “Living in joy and contentment is a much better goal than correctly following some diet based on vanity rather than on self-improvement for the greater good,” Pardo says. Be kind to yourself, and set your sights on happiness, not perfection.

Make Happiness your goal today!

Make Happiness your goal today!

This article was contributed by Canyon Ranch. Canyon Ranch is a pioneer in the field of health and wellness will be bringing its integrative and customized wellness programmes to Treasure Bay Bintan, a resort destination on Bintan island.

[If you like this story, you’ll love … ]

1. Letting Go Of My Insecurities

2. I Bought A Designer Bag And …

3. Your Life’s Biggest Enemy

Standard
Beauty & Shopping, Contests, Skincare

[Infographic] What’s Your Mia 2 Color?

One of the most coveted facial cleansers, Clarisonic Mia 2 is now available in three vibrant colours for a limited time only. Want to win one for yourself? Read on.

Out of a plethora of beauty gadgets in the market, there are few that stand out from the crowd.

And then there’s Clarisonic.

The pioneer of professional-calibre sonic cleansing, Clarisonic was originally designed for skincare professionals before it very quickly took the beauty industry by storm. The brand has since rolled out many variations of the cleansing device, including one of their bestsellers, Mia 2. Equipped with a travel case, Mia 2 is lightweight and compact, making for an ideal cleanser on the go. It is powered by the Clarisonic Sonic Method, a patented technology clinically proven to cleanse the skin six times better than when you use your hands, working with the skin’s natural elasticity to gently yet thoroughly remove all traces of impurities from the pores.

The waterproof Mia 2 also comes two different speeds, a unique charger that magnetically attaches itself to the handle (each charge allows for 24 minutes of use), as well as a patented feature known as the T-Timer (which lets you know when it’s time to move the device to another part of your face).

For a limited time only, Clarisonic Mia 2 is available in three vibrant colours – hot pink (Joy), blue (Life), and lime green (Energy) – as part of the Festival of Colors collection. Wondering which colour suits you best? Check out our infographic to get your answer, and find out how to win it for yourself, below!

ClarisonicInfo

Each Clarisonic Mia 2 kit, $220, consists of Clarisonic Mia 2, Universal Voltage Charger, Sensitive Brush Head, 1 oz. trial size cleanser, and a protective travel case. It is available at all local Sephora outlets, TANGS Orchard and Robinsons Raffles City. All opinions are the author’s own. This post was neither paid for nor advised by Clarisonic.

3 Clarisonic Mia 2 kits (worth $220 each) are up for grabs!

Mia 2 Festival of Colors

Material World has 3 Clarisonic Mia 2 kits for our readers. To win one for yourself, simply follow the steps below:

  1. LIKE Material World’s Facebook Page.
  2. ANSWER this question in the Comments section below: “What is your Clarisonic Mia 2 colour, based on the infographic above?”
  3. SHARE this post with your friends on Facebook and TAG “Material World” and “Clarisonic Singapore”. Remember to set your post on Public so we can verify that this step has been completed.

Once you’ve done all 3 steps, drop us an email with your details (Name, Age, NRIC No/Passport No, Email Add) to general@materialworld.com.sg. Closing date: 12 September 2014, Friday.

Standard
Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Drinks & Parties, Food News, Lifestyle, Makeup, Malls & Boutiques, Skincare

26 Things To Put On Your September Watchlist

From Mid-Autumn Festival and free champagne to plenty of new skincare products, looks like September is going to be one exciting month!

A is for All-Day Sun Protection

A

When you live in sunny Singapore, good sun protection is an absolute must-have. Daylong is a range of sun protection products from Switzerland, with a formulation that’s gentle enough for children (Cate Blanchett uses them on her kids!) yet offers you all-round protection from both UV rays and infrared radiation. We like its lightweight, non-greasy formula and how it doesn’t leave any whitish residue upon application. We also appreciate how it’s formulated without additional preservatives or perfumes, and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for all skin types.

Daylong is available in selected pharmacies from mid-September 2014.

B is for Beauty Cleanse’s Candyfloss Nutmylk series

B

If you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal replacement, you can’t go wrong with these nutmilks from Beauty Cleanse. It comes in a package of six bottles in the following flavours: Original, matcha (green tea), cocoa, coffee (decaf), black sesame and “marshmallow” (thought it tastes like marshmallow, it’s actually an ingenious blend of fruit and veggies!). All ingredients used are organic, plant-based, vegan, and raw. Dairy-free, they are great for those who are lactose-intolerant.

A package of six bottles is priced at $95. To order, visit www.beauty-cleanse.com.

C is for Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquers

C

The best thing about these is that they are formulated without the toxic chemicals commonly associated with nail lacquers. Available in 12 shades from neutrals, to brights and darker shades. Each nail lacquer retails for $13 each.

For a full listing of Crabtree & Evelyn stores in Singapore, click here.

D is for Skin Destiny 

SK-II’s Skin Destiny Study is definitely giving a lot of us hope. This landmark study discovered an intrinsic link between long-term usage of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and skin quality. It was found that users who started on the Essence in their 20s enjoyed better skin in their 30s and 40s. Long-term users also displayed no increase in major visible aging signs after age 50. At $99 for a 75ml bottle, we say this is as good a beauty investment as money can buy.

SK-II counters can be found at major department stores such as TANGS.

E is for Ecommerce 

With a whole slew of ecommerce sites launching these days, the days of running errands could well and truly be over. Serial entrepreneur Chris Chong has recently launched not one, but TWO ecommerce sites! The first GoFresh.com.sg is an online grocery service for those who want their meats, seafoods and fresh produce delivered right to their doorsteps. The second is AirClick.co, set up to help customers find and book photographers. What’s next? Personal chefs? Oh … that’s been done already.

F is for Free Champagne!

Print

You are going to love HI-SO Ladies Night at Sofitel So Singapore! Ladies will be treated to a free first glass of Ruinart Champagne between 6pm and 9pm, after which, each glass of Champagne will be at $10 nett. So for a bubbly good time with your girlfriends, swing by one of Singapore’s most beautiful hotels every Wednesday.

G is for Gourmet Escape

Fancy a trip to Western Australia where you get to enjoy the finest dining and wine experiences? Well, you can! From 12 September to 11 October, guests who dine on specially-created Western Australian dishes from either Bedrock Bar & Grill or The Pelican will stand a chance to win a trip to Perth to experience the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. This 3-day event is a foodie’s dream come true with tastings and demonstrations of some of the region’s freshest produce and fine wines.

For reservations at Bedrock Bar & Grill, call 6238 0054; for reservations at The Pelican, call 6438 0400.  

H is for Hada Labo Lotion

H

According to findings by Hada Labo, just 3 out of 10 women in Singapore use lotions as part of their skincare regime. This compared to 10 out of 10 women in Japan. The secret to dewy, fresh skin could lie in your next bottle of Hada Labo Lotion. Featuring a new generation of 4 Interlocked Hyaluronic Acids, the new lotion promises to keep your skin supercharged with hydration, even in the hard-to-reach bottom skin layer.

Hada Labo is available at Watsons islandwide. 

I is for Ioma Cell Protector SPF 50+ PA+++

I

Not only does this sunscreen provide the highest possible protection against UVA and UVB rays, it’s also formulated with the active ingredient Desoxine. Desoxine is a powerful antioxidative shield and offers three benefits: (1) Detoxifies by eliminating free radicals (2) Stimulates skin’s natural antioxidant defences, and (3) Protects cells from free radical damage. Retails for $85.

Ioma counters are located at Robinsons Orchard and Isetan Scotts.

J is for Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner

J

These two Js will be starring opposite Marion Cotillard in The Immigrant, a story set in NYC in 1921. Joaquin plays Bruno, a pimp who thrusts Marion’s character Ewa into a world of prostitution, while Jeremy plays Orlando, a stage magician and Bruno’s cousin, who becomes Ewa’s only hope of a better future. Directed by yet another J (James Gray), this period drama is definitely one to watch – it’s received several accolades at international film festivals, including Best Actress at the International Cinephile Society Awards.

The Immigrant opens Sep 14 in cinemas islandwide.

K is for Kérastase

K

If you’ve been struggling with brittle or falling strands, what you probably need is proper scalp care. At Kérastase, they believe that strong and healthy hair always starts at the scalp. This is why the brand-new Kérastase Densifique range comes fortified with a combination of B Vitamins to regulate the production of sebum on the scalp and give it the nourishment it needs for healthy, beautiful hair.

The Kérastase Densifique range is available at all Kérastase consultant salons. Call 6738 3113 for salon listings.

L is for Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream

L

Laneige’s adds two more products to its Time Freeze anti-ageing line: Time Freeze Intensive Cream, and Eye Serum. The line works on the principle of restoring skin’s weakened collagen structure; its Dynamic Collagen_EX technology breaks down and “upcycles” old collagen into young and healthy collagen. The line’s other active ingredient, hyaluronic acid, helps improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream and Eye Cream retail for $95 and $69 respectively. For a full store listing, click here.

M is for Mooncakes

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Bliss Collection at Bakerzin

Enter any shopping mall in the month of September, and you’re bound to see bright lights and plenty of vendors selling a wide variety of mooncakes at the atrium. Here are some of our choice picks this Mid-Autumn Festival:

Peony Jade

Each year, Peony Jade never fails to impress us with their spectacular mooncake offerings. We love how they always manage to come up with new and exciting flavours such as the Honey Williams pears with organic apricot and raspberries as well as Valrhona chocolate with bananas, salted caramel and walnuts.

Bakerzin

Bakerzin has rolled out three new snow skin mooncake collections – Bliss, Joy and Lush – to add to their existing range. The Bliss and Lush collections consist of slightly more unique flavours and fillings and contain alcohol (flavours include Frangelico Hazelnut Truffle Snow Skin, Whisky Truffle SNow Skin, Lychee Snow Skin and Yuzu Snow Skin), while Joy is made up of classic fillings (they include Pandan Lotus Snow Skin and Purple Sweet Potato). Founder Lili is not usually a fan of snow skin mooncakes, but she vouches for the tastiness of these new ones from Bakerzin! From $52 for box of 8, available at all Bakerzin outlets and participating booths until Sep 8.

Goodwood Park Hotel

There’s no doubt that Goodwood Park Hotel is the first hotel to come to mind when you mention the word “durian”. This year, they will be bringing back the Premium Durian Snowskin Combo, which consists of four mooncakes filled with the fresh pulp of four types of durians. There will be some new flavours inspired by tropical fruits as well – Calamansi, Kumquat and Sour Plum Snowskin Mooncakes. From $28 for 2 pieces, available at Goodwood Park Hotel Deli until Sep 8.

Yan Ting at The St. Regis Singapore

You can count on the acclaimed Cantonese restaurant for some of the most decadent mooncakes available, such as the all-new Chocolate Royal Liqueur Truffle, the popular Pure ‘Mao Shan Wang’ Durian Indulgence, as well as baked traditional mooncakes like Reduced Sugar White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts. From $68 for 4 mooncakes, available at Yan Ting restaurant at level 1U, The St. Regis Singapore, until Sep 8.

N is for Night Owls Feasting

N

We are always looking for interesting places to check out for supper. Well, this month, why not check out Fish & Co.’s Supper Catch menu at Changi Airport Terminal 2? This menu is available between 11pm and 3am and features popular items like Seafood Platter for Two and Fish & Chips!

The Supper Catch menu is available at Fish & Co. at Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure Hall, #036-058.

O is for Organic Shampoo

O

If you’re starting to notice that your hair’s thinning, the first thing you should look into is changing your shampoo. Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner – which were developed by Canadian physician Dr Robert Jones – are free from synthetic, chemical and petroleum-derived ingredients – all of which are believed to play a part in hair loss. We liked how the shampoo cleansed well without over-drying the scalp, and it was also able to deal effectively with the problem of an itchy, sensitive scalp.

Dr Jones Organic Shampoo and Conditioner retail for $26.80 each (or $50 for a set) and are available here

P is for Personalised Monopoly

P

Revive Board Games Sundays with the latest from Monopoly! Called My Monopoly, the classic property trading game now comes with a customisable board, where you can personalise the tiles, game tokens, Chance Cards and Community Chest Cards via the My Monopoly app.

My Monopoly retails at $46.90 at all Toys “R” Us and major department stores.

Q is for Qatar Airways

Been itching to travel to far-flung destinations? This might be the chance to feed your wanderlust. Qatar Airways is having an exclusive promotion to Europe and America, with special rates from just $890! The promotion ends 2359hrs on Sep 12 (travel validity period: Aug 18 – Mar 21, 2015). Bookings can be made online, here.

R is for Rays

R

In case you missed it, a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays – including the majestic manta rays – are now at risk of extinction. To raise awareness on marine life and conservation, RWS has dedicated the month of September to highlight manta rays in their S.E.A. Aquarium’s SEAA Wonders series. Some activities include sharing sessions with underwater photography experts and conservationists, diving with manta rays, and witnessing the feeding of manta rays.

For the month of September, you can purchase 2 adult one-day admission passed to S.E.A. Aquarium at a discounted price of $50. For more information, click here. To make reservations, click here or call 6577 8899.

S is for Shima

S

Even though renowned Teppanyaki restaurant Shima recently reopened sporting a brand new look after a month-long renovation, the restaurant still retains the one-inch thick cast-iron griddles that have been in use since 34 years ago, when Shima was established – a launch that revolutionised Japanese dining in Singapore as it marks the first-ever fine-dining Teppanyaki restaurant. According to Executive Chef Michael Koh, their well-seasoned griddles not only enhance the flavours of the food but also allow for even cooking. Besides Teppanyaki, Shima also serves up sushi, sashimi, Shabu Shabu as well as Yakiniku.

Shima is located at Level 1, Goodwood Park Hotel. For reservations, call 6734 6281.

T is for Tsubaki Hair Oil

TSUBAKI - Hair Oil

Been searching for the ultimate hair oil that works to moisturise and smoothen your hair, without costing you a bomb? Look no further. Tsubaki Hair Oil is formulated with a high concentration of camellia oil, which is extracted by pressing carefully curated camellia seeds in Nagasaki, Japan. Camellia oil is highly lauded for its nourishing benefits – it prevents cuticle damage to smoothen hair strands, protects hair from UV rays, and penetrates hair quickly to add a healthy shine without leaving behind any grease.

Tsubaki Hair Oil retails for $26.90 from Sep 11, available exclusively at Watsons.

U is for Uniqlo: Now available online!

Uniqlo stores are pretty ubiquitous these days with 18 stores in Singapore alone. But just in case you’ve given up brick-and-mortar shopping altogether, you’ll be happy to know that you can now shop for your Uniqlo essentials online (desktop and mobile). To celebrate the launch of its e-commerce platform, the store will be offering exclusive online promotions for the first 11 days of September; keep a lookout for special offers on 11 different items daily.

For more information, log onto www.uniqlo.com/sg.

V is for Value-For-Money Set Meals

V - Baby Pork Back Ribs

If you work somewhere in Orchard Road, you gotta make a beeline for this brand new restaurant, SET. As the name suggests, they only serve set lunches and set dinners here. The five-course set lunch is priced at $28.80++ and the six-course set dinner, $38.80++, which is incredibly good value considering the type of dishes you’ll get. For appetisers, you’ll get inventive twists on classics such as the Mushroom Soup with Peanut Butter. It sounds weird, but the peanut butter actually lends a chunkier, more layered texture to the soup. For mains, we liked the Baby Pork Back Ribs, where the meat is painstakingly steamed then boiled with star anise and cinnamon before being roasted and slathered with Chinese BBQ sauce. For desserts, we were impressed by the Pistachio Panna Cotta, which was smooth, light and silky, almost like a tofu milk pudding.

SET is located at #02-01 Pomo, Tel: 6337 7644

W is for What A Feast!

The annual Epicurean Market at Marina Bay Sands is back! From 12 to 14 September, eat your way through award-winning nosh from celebrity chef restaurants, participate in masterclasses and bring home gourmet wines and produce from the Fresh Food Market. Epicurean Market will be held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2, Hall D & E. For more information, click here.

X is for X-cite Your Senses

Don’t you love how art is getting more and more interactive, and not just people passively looking at a piece of artwork anymore? Sensorium 360°: Contemporary Art and the Sensed World is an interactive exhibition of contemporary art that explores all aspects of the human senses. The Singapore Art Museum has put together a series of workshops — from tea-tasting to perfume-making and even to learning Braille — all to give us a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

For more details, visit the Singapore Art Museum website here.

Y is for Triangles Of Youth 

Y

There are 2 triangles of youth around each eye – the upper triangle and the lower triangle. The former refers to immediate area next to the outer corner and is where crow’s feet and droopy eyelids form. The latter is the area under your eye and is where eye bags and dark eye circles become more obvious with age. To address these problems, Clarins has launched a complete solution for your eye area to help it regain its youthful and firm appearance. Clinical evaluation shows that Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Cream can help reduce dark circles and eye bags by 7% and 13% respectively.

Visit Clarins counters at TANGS, Robinsons or Metro Paragon to find out more about this new eye cream!  

Z is for Zen’Ga

Z

If you’re looking to take your Pilates practice to the next level, check out Breathe Pilates’ newest class, Zen’Ga. This is a new form of Pilates that combines the the latest discoveries in fascia fitness techniques with Yoga flow movements. Fascia is the term used to describe the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Regular practice of Zen’Ga is said to help improve overall strength and flexibility, and giving you smoother, more fluid movement in your day-to-day life.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #13-02 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central. For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email info@breathepilates.com.sg, or visit http://www.breathepilates.com.sg.

Standard
Arts & Events, Food News, Lifestyle

Cafe Fest 6 and 7 September 2014 : You Going?

Love your cafes? Then make sure you check out Cafe Fest next weekend! Below, Material World gives you more details about who’s participating and what awesome stuff you can expect to find.

CafeFest_Logo

Cafe-lovers, hate that there are just so many cafes to check and so little time? If so, welcome to the world’s first-ever cafe-hopping event: Cafe Fest! Conceived by public relations professionals Gabriel Tan and Sarah Lek, the event is expected to host over 4,000 cafe enthusiasts by The Waterfront Promenade. Starting at 10am on Saturday and Sunday, attendees can look forward to live performances by bands like 53A, The Sessionists and many more.

Maison Ikkoku (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Maison Ikkoku (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Participating Cafes:
(Details extracted from http://www.cafefest.sg and provided by organizers)

Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart by Bloomsbury Bakers (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart by Bloomsbury Bakers (Photo credit: Cafe Fest)

1. JIMMY MONKEY
Jimmy Monkey Cafe & Bar is an Australian-style cafe with a fully integrated bar and lounge. The cafe lives up its name, the staff are as mischievous and somewhat, wild, as the Monkey in its name. At this festival, Jimmy Monkey will be offering a new blend from his brand new hand built Slayer Machine, and this blend will be off-the-menu.

2. OZ SPECIALTY COFFEE
The cafe is also the first to directly import coffee from Pacamara Roasters in Bangkok, Thailand, which is found to have the most perfect body, flavour and aroma suit for the local palate. There will be specially created coffee brews from Oz Specialty’s bottle cold brews (with & without milk) for $4.

3. MAISON IKKOKU
Maison Ikkoku offers a menu of gastronomic delights which include an all day breakfast, gourmet sandwiches and specialty coffee. At the festival, Maison Ikkoku will be introducing new blends.

4. I AM …
I AM … is a Muslim-owned café helmed by three brothers. They are located just before the entrance of Haji Lane and impossible to miss, especially with the large black-and-white mural of one of the many bridges and canals in bicycle-friendly Amsterdam. This Amsterdam-themed café serves up nutritious European Halal cuisine.

5. TOBY’S ESTATE
Toby’s Estate started in the coffee plantations of Brazil, Guatemala and Colombia, where founder, Toby Smith learnt to grow, roast and cup coffee at the source. Want something unexpected? Then you have to try its 等一個人咖啡.

Other participating establishments include Bloomsbury Bakers (who will be selling a Speculoos Apple Crumble Tart), Cake Love, Smitten Cafe, Common Man Coffee Roasters, Tiong Bahru Bakery, The Providore and Hatter Street Bakehouse & Cafe.

A two-day cafe-hopping pass costs $20 (limited time flash sale) and $26 (VIP pass which gives you extra goodies). You may purchase your tickets here.

 

Standard
Material Moms, Small Purchase

[Material Moms] For The Love Of Crafts – Selena Quah

Love creating crafts with your kids? Read on to find out what Material Mom Selena Quah thought of the new Brother’s ScanNCut machine.

I remember cutting out ‘Happy Birthday’ alphabets for my son’s 4th birthday party and my husband rolling his eyes at me for putting in so much effort.

“Why don’t you just buy the bunting?”

“But it’s more meaningful to do it yourself. Plus, I can make my own design!”

That was just one of the many times I spent time and effort cutting things out manually with a pair of scissors. To be honest, I did wish I could magically zap it out so I could finish up and go to bed early.

Well, someone at Brother must have heard my wish, and the wish of many crafters out there I’m sure.

The Machine

The ScanNCut with the materials for making the card.

The ScanNCut with the materials for making the card.

Brother, better known for their sewing machines, has developed an innovative machine that can scan any image, whether printed or hand-­drawn, and cut out your desired pattern from paper, fabric or vinyl. I know the concept sounds simple, but if you’ve done things the manual way, you’ll understand the draw of this device.

Loading the adhesive mat with the paper to be cut into the ScanNCut

Loading the adhesive mat with the paper to be cut into the ScanNCut.

The ScanNCut looks like a small ink­jet printer and is equipped with a built-­in 300dpi (dots per inch) scanner. In place of an ink cartridge is the cutter blade. The machine has data storage so you can save scanned images and have the machine cut out those shapes on any material you feed it, up to a maximum thickness of 3mm (so even cardboard and felt is fine). If you want the same shape cut out from various types of paper or fabric, this feature is a real time saver.

The Hands-­on

I had the opportunity to try the ScanNCut with my craft­-loving eldest son to get a feel of how the machine works. We were guided through the process of creating a ‘pop­-up’ Christmas card with layers of different sized paper on the cover.

The machine proved to be fairly easy to operate. Even my five-­and-­a-­half year old understood the basic functions quite quickly, and eagerly helped some of the participants sharing the same workstation as us. You scan the pattern you want and save it into the machine’s memory, then using the adhesive mat, put the pieces of paper you want cut onto it, load the mat into the machine, click a few buttons, and voila! All the pieces are cut out for you. In all, it took less than 10 minutes to cut the pieces and assemble the card.

The ScanNCut’s blade made clean and smooth cuts. I thought it was impressive that the machine could even do more delicate work like cutting out the words ‘Merry Christmas’. All these are not impossible to do manually, but it would easily have taken three to four times the amount of time (or more) compared to using the ScanNCut.

We did find that you have to make sure the paper is stuck firmly onto the adhesive mat otherwise the paper will slide and will not be cut properly. The group I was working with encountered this problem a few times, but besides this we didn’t have any other issues.

The Good

If you like crafts, the possibilities with this machine are endless.

Close up of the finished product

Close up of the finished product.

The scalloped edges cut perfectly.

The scalloped edges cut perfectly.

It’s great for kids’ parties; you can do the bunting (without your husband rolling his eyes at you), customise the invites and decor to suit any theme you want, make all kinds of confetti (this really excites me because I love confetti!), prepare art and craft corners with themed cut-­outs, make face masks (with the ScanNCut, cutting out the holes for the eyes is a lot easier), make customised T-shirts by cutting out designs from iron­-on paper or cloth appliques, and so on.

Scrapbooking fans will love how they can create all kinds of paper and fabric embellishments. Quilters will love that the fabric pieces are cut to precision, and you can even specify the seam allowance you want when cutting the fabric. Pre­-school teachers will appreciate that the machine saves them time when preparing materials for art and craft sessions for an entire class of children.

Plus, if your kids like arts and crafts, making a card together like I did with my son is a nice time of bonding.

I really wouldn’t mind having this machine, but …

The Price

It’s touted as being the ‘world’s first home and hobby cutting machine’, but to acquire it you must have quite a lot of spare cash lying around. At $828, I feel the price is prohibitive. There’s also the other issue of replacing the adhesive mat (around $20 for the 12 x 12 low tack adhesive mat). Apparently each mat can be used up to 20 times. Even if you rotate the mat around so you use every inch of it for different projects, I figure you’ll need to make several replacements a year if you use it intensively.

I like what the ScanNCut can do, and I can see many groups of people who would like to use it and can benefit from such a machine. But until the price drops, I’ll just use my scissors.

Oh well.

Material World was invited by Brother to try the ScanNCut machine. All opinions are the author’s own. This post is neither paid for nor advised by the brand. Please read our advertising policy here.

Selena Quah with Asher Selena Quah enjoys the little things in life and hopes her children will pick up this trait from her too. She thinks kids are an excellent excuse to indulge in things she likes such as strolling through parks, doing art and craft, and baking. A dancer from young, she hopes to get back to it when the kids are older, though for now she’ll have to make do with dancing around the house while her boys wonder why Mummy is mad. You can find Selena’s blog Unlikely Lady of Leisure here. 

Standard
Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] Abundance Parenting VS Scarcity Parenting – Cherie Tseng

When a friend asks for parenting tips – tips only you and a handful others are privy to – do you share the love or keep mum about it? In this week’s Material Moms, Cherie Tseng gives her take on this tricky subject.

abundance parenting 2

It started innocently enough when I was looking for a mandarin enrichment playgroup for my second son. My elder son used to go to a fairly popular program but we left because I felt the standard of the class was systematically falling. And while I heard they had since cleaned up their act, I was more than open to checking out another program. So I did what most mums would do – I asked the brood of mummies around me for their opinions, thoughts and recommendations. Some were superlatively forthcoming with recommendations, offering to help me arrange trial classes and giving me the inside scoop on which program teacher they felt were superior. Most, however, were noticeably silent or, at best, vague and non-committal with their comments.

Things got, well, let’s use the adjective “interesting” (for lack of a better word) after I registered my interest in a fairly popular program based on a fellow mum’s fervent recommendation. While all this which-program-is-good-evaluation was happening, another mummy friend – let’s call her Mummy H – was also making the same considerations and I fully expected to see her in class when the term started. To my surprise, she opted not to sign up.

As it turns out, Mummy H had spoken to another mummy friend, Mummy F, and was (supposedly) close to joining the enrichment program fray since Mummy F’s kids were both in the program too. The latter strongly dissuaded her from joining and related all sorts of negative things about the center, teachers and program and that she herself was only there because it was a convenient location for her. Plus, her kids were already fairly comfortable there and she was lazy to move them. It was the classic “I’m in a sinking ship (not!), but I’m too tired to move, you go save yourself!” Mummy F’s comments were completely untrue and driven by some warped notion of parental competitiveness: that you would want the best only for your kids, but not your friends, lest your own child loses out. This is what I call, Zero Sum Parenting.

The same kind of behaviour has been related to me by friends with regards to doctors, OBGYNs and even supplements! Oh, I only see Dr So-and-so because he is my dad’s friend but he is actually not that good. I hear Angel’s doctor is pretty cool, why don’t you try her out? / Oh, the supplements I give Natalie are not that good, my husband bought a whole carton so I feel bad throwing it out. You should try the supplements from Brand ABC; I hear many others are taking it and it supposedly rocks.

abundance parentingI have heard of such behaviour with regards to some of the notable tuition centers, where parents teach their kids to lie to their friends about where they are getting extra curricular help so that they would retain an advantage over their peers. Because, what if second-place Billy comes to the same center as my first-place Alex and learns the trick of the proverbial (academic) trade and displaces my son for top spot? Heaven forbid!

I’d admit: The world we live in is a place of rank and position. Grades are judged on a bell curve, development is pegged to percentiles and we all like to win first place. It is one thing, however, to want what is best for your child, and another to want it at the expense of others. It is the difference between being a mum that feels your child needs to keep up versus a mum that feels your child needs to win every single time. It is parenting to raise competitive kids, as suppose to parenting competitively. Perhaps the Kiasu (afraid to lose) culture is so pervasive that even parenting has its own Me Vs. You score card. Mummies seek to outdo each other vis-à-vis their kids; daddies strive to mold a best-of-class champion to live vicariously through.

The truth is, most of us have many awesome fellow-parent friends. You know, the mummies that are happy to share her new found door-to-door organic supplier, the next great kids bookshop, etc. Peak performance guru Steve Covey wisely promoted the Abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger… Success in others adds to, rather than detracts, from our lives.

It is Win-Win Parenting Vs. Win-Lose parenting. It is Mothering from a place of Abundance Vs. Mothering with fear of Scarcity.

I am an essential oil enthusiast and have been for a while now, before the whole go-natural hoopla that seems to be hip and cool these days. For fun, I sometimes hold essential oil gatherings at my place quite in the vein of Tupperware ladies. With the sudden uptake and media spotlight on these therapeutic grade essential oils and health, the company (Hello Young Living Singapore!) I get my oils from has suffered a real shortage in product. This frustrating situation has led to some mummies to comment that we should stop sharing with other mummies – even if they would really benefit from the essential oils, lest there are not enough for themselves.

Right on the other side of the scarcity-abundance chasm are mummies who dig into their own stash to help other mummies who are joining the go-natural route, some even gifting the (limited in supply) bottles of oils.

So, what kind of parent are you? Are you an Abundance Parent or a Scarcity Parent?

#1. When you discover an awesome kid program, you:
(a) Tell all your close friends and encourage them to go for a trial. Quick! Before class is full!
(b) Keep very mum about it, refraining from posting your usual Facebook updates about it.

#2. When your mummy friends ask for your opinion on a parenting know-how, you:
(a) Think things through and share your own experience and best-known practices.
(b) Keep quiet or say something vague because you worry your child might lose his/her edge.

#3. When your child does well and someone asks how their kid might do the same, you:
(a) Share all that you have done, even if you qualify that you child “got lucky somewhat.”
(b) Say “I don’t know!” … but you actually had a full-on gameplan.

#4. When your child’s school/tuition center gives out a kick-ass piece of study material, you:
(a) Tell your close friends about it, at least, when it comes up in conversation.
(b) Hide all evidence of it if friends are coming over and instruct your child to never speak of it.

#5. You find an excellent tutor/coach/instructor. You:
(a) Share their contact willingly when someone asks for it.
(b) Dodge having to share their contact, sometimes making excuses about their busy schedule.

It goes without saying which category each option goes under.

When I think back to my early days of motherhood – the nights fraught with worry and the days wrecked with exhaustion – I am grateful for mummy friends that shared their own parenting journey best practices. And so often, when I meet a mum that reaches out, I feel deeply compelled to dig as deep as I can to reach back. Not just because karma’s a bitch, but to borrow the words of one Sarah B. Breathnach:

Both abundance and (scarcity) exists simultaneously in our lives as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend. When we choose to be grateful for the abundance that is present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us joy – the wasteland of (scarcity) falls away as we experience heaven on earth.”

Cherie Tseng is mum to two little boys: Quentin, four, and Evan, two. They love superheroes, pizza and going on pretend adventures with mummy and daddy to save the world. She runs a regional training consultancy, co-owns a Singapore-Myanmar business brokerage outfit and is an essential oil enthusiast. In her spare time, she crafts, makes diaper cakes and practices aerial circus arts. Cherie occasionally blogs at The Growing Tree Project

Standard
Friends, Relationships

7 Girlfriends That Every Woman Always Needs – Matthew Fam

A life without girlfriends would be a very dull, depressing one indeed. From a friend who gives you honest fashion advice, to one who lends you a shoulder to cry on, these are the 7 girlfriends that every woman always need.

1. The Fashion Consultant:
Forget hairstylists or personal shoppers. Having a fashionista girlfriend on your side can save you from a dreaded style mishap. And we’re not talking about friends who would blindly praise any frock your don. This friend will be direct and honest with her opinions. Like that time when you decided to trim your bangs by yourself in desperation:giphy

2. The Love Guru:
This girlfriend has sagely dating advice without even consulting love horoscopes. She also has a good hint of which guy is suitable for you based on your recent dating history that she has effectively memorised. When she tells you to avoid drunk texting a guy who- in her spot-on guy analysis- is just a player, do yourself a favor and listen. To. Her.

3. The Travel Buddy:
Planning a holiday can be a stressful event by itself, what with hotel bookings and the sorting of itineraries. Can you imagine adding travel buddies into the mix? What you need is a girlfriend that either has similar travel interests as you- be it in shopping or museum hunting- or is willing to compromise (of course, you should be willing to do so as well!).

ABD4F1B04FFC41848426C609E578170E4. The Comedy Queen:
When you’re having a bad day at work or in desperate need for some cheering up, pencil this girlfriend in for a lunch outing- pronto. She can turn a quiet coffee joint into a riot filled with your guffaws. Yes, when you’re in her company, passerbys may even whip you disapproving glances at your boisterous conversations. But let’s face it: you’re probably having too much fun to care!

5. The Saint:
Friendships are bound to come with their series of conflicts and disagreements. But what makes them stronger is the ability to get through them with forgiveness and understanding. Unfortunately, not all friends are willing to start on a clean slate- especially when a dire deed is committed (you dating her ex, perhaps!). So when you find a girlfriend that graciously forgives, you must never let her go.

6. The Comforter:
This girlfriend’s contact is ever ready to be tapped on Whatsapp in times when you feel like this:tumblr_inline_mlqadytMmi1qz4rgp

A typical conversation with her usually begins with a string of crying-face emojis, followed by a total word vomit of your troubles. While some friends would simply tune off, this girlfriend will take the time and effort to hear you out- even to the extent of comforting you and offering a meet up. She is an angel.

7. The Daredevil:
She lives life on the edge and is the one to force you to try things you never would on your own- say, reverse bungee or bikram yoga. Often times, you will silently curse to yourself for even entertaining her insane requests. However, what you fail to realise is how she’s helping you get out of your comfort zone. A keeper? Definitely.

 

What kind of girlfriend do you think a woman should have? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and contributing beauty assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.

 

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1.Are You Being Critical Or Are You Looking For Flaws? – Tan Lili

2. Am I A Horrible Friend Because Of This? – Matthew Fam

3. How To Hang Out In a Group That Doesn’t Speak Your Language – Denise Li

 

Standard
Child's Play, Material Moms

[Material Moms] Remember To Take Your Kids Out To Play!

In this week’s Material Moms, guest writer Claudia Foo shares her personal experience on the importance of active play for her children.

Ever since I’ve been blessed with two kids – Andrea, 7, and Keivan, 4 – my whole life has since revolved around them. I make sure I see to all the details in their lives, from the clothes they wear and the food they chew to even the way they play.

Claudia Foo with her children, Keivan (left) and Andrea.

Claudia Foo with her children, Keivan (left) and Andrea.

I’ve had seven years of experience being a mother now but there are still many new things that I learn and observe every day. One thing I’ve observed over the years is the playing habits of children. Mums may agree with me on this: kids these days are tech-savvy. Most of their playing habits involve staring at the screen, which worries me. I’ve seen kids wearing glasses at a young age and some of them are so used to reading e‑books that they don’t know how to flip a real book! While I appreciate the convenience and fun that technology brings us, I am determined to bring a balance to ensure my kids get some real fun under the sun.

I strongly believe that it is important for the kids to go out and play as this is an opportunity to connect with and enjoy the nature. Also, it is known that looking at green objects such as trees and grass contributes to eyesight health.

Being working parents, my husband and I do not have the time and energy to bring the kids out during weekdays, so we started off by bringing them out to the playground on occasional Sundays, each session lasting about four hours. My husband and I would also gradually introduce new things/games to the kids, like playing bubbles, riding a bicycle, flying kites, etc. The kids had so much fun and, naturally, they looked forward to Sunday playtime. So, my husband and I decided to schedule our family bonding time every other Sunday.

Andrea, my elder daughter, is in Primary 1 now. On Wednesdays, there is 30 minutes of P.E. at the start of school, and 30 minutes after. Keivan goes to childcare from 8am till 5pm. His timetable includes physical activities such as playing in the outdoor playground, activities in the children’s gym and sometimes, water games. On average, he clocks over three hours of physical activities of various intensity in the childcare. After school and childcare, both Andrea and Keivan are babysat at my mother-in-law’s. Before dinner, and after Andrea finishes her homework, their grandma plays old-school games (remember lao ying zhua xiao ji – the eagle-and-chicks game?) with Andrea and Keivan.

Every Saturday evening, we take Andrea and Keivan to my mother’s, where they will play with their two cousins at the playground for about an hour before we take them back for dinner.

active play 2It’s been almost a year since we started our regular Sunday playtime and I do see the benefits: my children appear healthier as they are seldom sick nowadays (which, I must add, is also attributed to healthier eating habits). They are also happier as our Sunday playtime helps them relieve stress, especially for Andrea who is receiving quite a bit of pressure from homework and tuition. In fact, Andrea’s teacher commented that she is performing well and that she is a conscientious student. One thing that made us really proud was that the teacher related how Andrea consciously looks out for her classmate’s safety when they play or do class activities together. We are certain that Andrea learned this from playing with and taking care of her younger brother.

I believe outdoor play has also contributed to good eyesight for our children since they are not wearing spectacles! Active play during our family outing allows us to build closer relationship with our children, as we play together during this session. For my husband and me, we enjoy the outdoors as a respite from being cooped up in the office for five days a week.

As a working mother, I understand that this is not an easy task but once you get started, the rest will fall into place. My advice is to always start them young when they are curious and receptive to new things and ideas, and therefore can be influenced positively. Bring them out to the playground for a start and make use of the neighbourhood facilities. Listen to what the kids want and try to incorporate them into these fun times so that they will enjoy it more. For mothers with school-going kids, you can also incorporate some learning elements into the games, such as running to and naming colours they find at the playground, or hopping towards a goal using a dice to determine the number of jumps. There are just so many ways to play! Plus, there are also parenting forums for parents to exchange tips and share new acts/happenings in town suitable for kids and family.

Johnson’s Baby believes in the importance of play and advocates 60 minutes of active play a day for children. To find out more about this advocacy and how you can get your kid to start playing actively today, check out this video below:

active play 3

About The Author: Claudia married her first love and became mother to Andrea and Keivan seven years ago. She is also quite the kid herself, as she delights in collecting all the cute stickers she can find from bookstores. Outside of work, she spends all her energy on her kids, ensuring they get enough fun, food and textbooks.

Standard
Material Moms, The Mothership

[Material Moms] Review: Mums and Bubs at Breathe Pilates – Delphine Tan

For busy working mothers, being able to combine quality time with Junior along with a fitness session sounds like a win-win situation, right? Find out what Material Mom Delphine Tan has to say about Breathe Pilates’ Mums & Bubs class! 

About one or two months after baby is born, the thought that crosses my mind the most often after “I wish I could get more sleep!” is “I really should get back into shape!” It’s easier said than done, however, especially if you are nursing and can’t be away from baby (or a breast pump) for too long. One solution is an exercise class that actually encourages you to bring baby along.

DSC00884

Yep! That’s a baby right there between my legs …

DSC00891

Which is more fun to work out with: ball or baby?

Mums & Bubs class at Breathe Pilates is perfect if you want to ease back into exercising after delivery but need to have baby with you all the time. If you want to attend without baby in tow, you are also more than welcome to. Baby should be able to support his own neck well but should not be crawling yet.

Clear instructions that were easy to follow were given throughout the class. It was my first time doing Pilates exercises on a reformer and I appreciated that the equipment provided the support needed by a post-natal body to safely carry out the exercises. The exercises chosen were suitable for regaining core strength and flexibility after delivery and not too strenuous.

DSC00893

I would have liked it more if the exercises incorporated the baby directly; most of the time, we left baby lying down while we played a sort of peekaboo while doing our Pilates exercises on the reformer. That would be okay for most babies but mine is very restless and just wanted to be carried so he started fussing.

DSC00887

Overall, it was an enjoyable session as it got me moving and definitely more interested in exercising! Mums & Bubs at Breathe Pilates is conducted on Wednesdays at 11.30am.

Breathe Pilates is located at #09-33 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Drive (8 participants); and #13-02 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central. For more information or to make an appointment, call 9835 5683, email info@breathepilates.com.sg, or visit www.breathepilates.com.sg.

Delphine and family The Author: Delphine Tan still feels like a kid but is married to Adrian and mother to Anya, Adam, and David. Since she has no artistic talent and does not know how to cook, she spends her free time reading, blogging, and collecting matryoshka. Besides being addicted to caffeine, Delphine also suffers from the compulsive need to Instagram every single plate of food that she eats. 

Standard
Food News, Lifestyle

Food Review: Fish & Co. Under 500 Calories Menu – Matthew Fam

Enjoying the same great recipes from Fish & Co. without bursting your calorie budget? This is totally possible with the restaurant’s new Under 500 Calories Menu. 

It’s no secret that we love to dine out. According to a 2010 health survey, 60% of Singaporeans eat out at least 4 times a week. However, dining out doesn’t always mean eating healthily. Firstly, it’s hard to gauge how many calories you’re consuming when your meal is presented on a large platter. We tend to finish whatever is on our plates, as we psychologically feel full only after its been cleared. This gives way to consuming excess calories.

How then, can we strike a balance with maintaining our calorie intake while still enjoying our favourite restaurant meals? Enter the new Under 500 Calories Menu by Fish & Co.

Healthier Portions of the Same Recipes You Love

Fish & Co.'s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don't burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu contains 11 portioned dishes so you don’t burst your calorie budget.

Fish & Co. partners with the Health Promotion Board to offer portioned-controlled meals that are less than 500 calories. The restaurant’s Under 500 Calories Menu features 11 favourite Fish & Co. dishes that have been re-portioned to cater to healthier diets.

You are even given a choice on how you wish to have the dish served. Sides are interchangeable- so you can opt for a serving of steamed vegetables in place of rice, for instance, while still keeping the dish below the set calorie amount.

Plus, these portion-controlled dishes are priced at 40% off their standard counterparts. Set from $7.95 to $11.95, you can do away with the misconception of paying more for healthier food, and enjoy them at reasonable prices.

Clinical dietician, Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens explaining the importance of portion control.

Why 500 Calories?

Clinical dietician Jaclyn Reutens, was at the event to share how this magical number came into play. She tells us that the recommended intake of calories for females is pitched at approximately 1700 calories. Sounds manageable? A single food court meal can go up to 800 calories per serving. And that’s not inclusive of the desserts we usually enjoy after! With this set target of 500 calories per meal, you can easily fit three within each day and sneak in a snack- all while keeping within your calorie allowance.

The Taste Test

Seafood Spaghetti, 376kcal.

Seafood Spaghetti, 471kcal. $10.95.

 

When I first ordered the Seafood Spaghetti, I thought having smaller portions meant measly smatterings of seafood chunks. But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find my plate dressed with ample servings of prawn, squid, and mussels.

Moreover, with the option of having whole wheat pasta, one serving of this dish gives you 7g of fibre (out of a daily recommendation of 20g). I liked how its tomato-base sauce had the right amount of tang to compliment the seafood.

 

Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal.

Grilled Salmon Cajun, 443 kcal. $11.95.

 

I was also pleased to know that the same great taste of my favourite Fish & Co. dish (the Grilled Salmon Cajun) was not compromised, even though its portion had been reduced. The fillet wasn’t overcooked and remained succulent on the inside.

Even though I didn’t finish one serving feeling completely filled, the portions are adequate. Fish & Co.’s Under 500 Calories Menu isn’t designed to be a feast of epic proportions, but is instead a sensible way to enjoy the restaurant’s tasty dishes without breaking the calorie bank. Be it an outing with family, friends or dates, these portioned servings will satisfy your cravings and keep waistlines in check.

 

Material World was invited for a tasting at Fish & Co. and was not paid for this review. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and contributing beauty assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram at @mattjfam.

 

 

Standard